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Old 08-30-2000, 12:38 PM   #91
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200

The problem with polls is by their very nature they are unscientific. The question of do you treat women differently allows for a great many interpretations. Not all of them heinous to equality.

I guess what strikes me about sexism and the shomen strike is that I've experienced a significant amount of the exact same things you have. I'd like to propose that maybe there are other possibilities here.

1) The pacifist. I bump into a fair amount of people who started Aikido because they don't want to hurt anyone. Consequently they don't want to hit me.

2) The "Aikido is fake" person. They've watched a class and don't believe what they saw. Consequently, they pull their strikes because they think that's how we do it.

3) The "striking arts" people. Some of these people are well conditioned not to hit. You don't spend Karate class hitting each other for obvious reasons.

My thinking is that you might be seeing some of these people and thinking, "sexist bastards" when I get the exact same thing. Sometimes you see what you expect to see or you create what you expect to see. Again, I'm not saying we are free from ism's, far from it, just floating a possibility.

at what point does a woman know her abilities better than the man who is telling her she can't do what she thinks she can? and if we don't test and stretch the limits of our ablities, then how do we grow?
I hear what you are saying and I agree with you, way more than I think you realize. All I want to say is that if we ever meet on the mat I will absolutely make my own judgement as to how we practice. You will be doing the same thing I hope.

would that poll have passed without comment, and would the answer be to ignore it and just train?
Actually, maybe yes. As Dan pointed out, this is a selfish practice. We take and learn from whom we can, sometimes they are not stellar people when held up to our standards. I can think of more than one. One example I can think of has produced a wealth of good students despite flaws which are quite significant and would probably send you off the deep end. This is not as clean as you might think and sometimes you have to work with what you have.

But some of us would like to see a bit less prejudice.
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